We asked these diverse foodservice and hospitality industry leaders how they are navigating the pandemic while building for the long term
CHAIR, CHICKEN FARMERS OF CANADA
Chicken Farmers of Canada is a proud supplier to Canada’s nationwide foodservice industry. Our Raised by a Canadian Farmer programs deliver on consumer expectations for excellence in food safety, animal care and sustainability. These provide assurance for our partners in foodservice, which represents 40 per cent of Canada’s national chicken production.
While the pandemic caused many consumers to pivot from dining out to buying more chicken for home use, it has nevertheless had a profound impact on all parts of our sector, from gate to plate.
We are grateful that, by continuing to patronize restaurants, consumers are also supporting local farmers, along with every partner in our value chain.
PRESIDENT, LABATT BREWERIES OF CANADA
The last decade has brought about major changes to what consumers drink and where they enjoy it. At Labatt, we’re on the leading edge of these changes.
If you’re not anticipating and driving the next trend, you’re falling behind. Bars and restaurants are the heart of our communities and where many of us go to connect with friends and family. Few businesses have been harder hit and face bigger challenges than the hospitality sector.
As our country begins to reopen, our focus will be on supporting bars and restaurants through recovery and safely bringing Canadians together.
PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER, KFC CANADA
COVID accelerated 10 years of change within 10 months – from digital innovation to consumer purchasing habits. I predict the shifts that will remain permanent are the ones that made our lives easier. Most notably:
- Digital will remain a strong growth driver. COVID motivated brands to ramp up their capabilities and adopt new technologies faster. This shift enhanced both the guest and team member experience across all access channels, including drive-thru, takeout and dine-in.
- Consumer purchasing habits are evolving. We have seen a surge in people looking for comfort and familiarity, growth in group occasions and value becoming an even bigger driver.
EXEC CHEF AT TWIST BY ROGER MOOKING, FOOD NETWORK CANADA HOST
If you want to not just survive but thrive in the food and beverage industry, it is essential to embrace diversity and inclusiveness – new ideas and ways of doing things.
Consider how different cultures approach a soup stock. Chinese chefs create a rich, flavourful stock at a rolling boil, emulsifying fats and bonding the ingredients. French chefs gently simmer ingredients to create a translucent stock with concentrated flavours. And so on.
An openness to these and other concepts will make you more informed, more thoughtful, more principled and adaptable to change. And that means more creative and more resilient.
PRESIDENT, BOSTON PIZZA INTERNATIONAL INC.
The restaurant industry makes great contributions both economically and culturally to the lives of Canadians. Over the last year, much of this positive impact has been lost due to the pandemic and resulting business operating restrictions – particularly for full-service restaurants like Boston Pizza.
We know our guests are missing eating out with family, friends, colleagues and fans, and they are looking forward to resuming those cherished social activities. We also know that restaurant owners, staff and suppliers are eager to see dining rooms, bars and patios full of happy customers again and have invested enormously in being able to do so safely. With the right combination of government and public support, the restaurant industry is prepared to recover in 2021 and return to our valued role in the lives of Canadians.